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EPA's Region 6 Office

Serving: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and 66 Tribal Nations

NPDES STORM WATER PROGRAM

General Permits for Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (sMS4s)
in New Mexico and on Indian Country lands in New Mexico and Oklahoma

NOTE: Several links take you to other sites, you may have to back up or close the new window to return to this page. Many of the guidance documents, permits, etc. available on-line are in "PDF" format and require you to install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view/print the document.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEARN ABOUT:

STORM WATER HOT TOPICS?

MARK YOU CALENDAR!! 16th Annual Region 6 Stormwater Conference will be in Ft. Worth, TX July 27 - August 1, 2014

. Region 6 sMS4 general permits?

. What MS4s would use the Region 6 sMS4 Permits?

. How to access NOIs for the sMS4 general permit and comment or request a public meeting/hearing?

. Region 6 Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Program (including links to useful resources)?

. Annual Region 6 MS4 Operator's Conference?


REGION 6 sMS4 GENERAL PERMITS

Final general permits for small MS4s in New Mexico and Indian Country in New Mexico and Oklahoma were announced in the June 13, 2007, Federal Register. Due to unforeseen delays in issuance of the required Federal Register notice and difficulties small MS4 operators were having in documenting permit eligibility, the final permits were revised and resigned on May 31, 2007, to reflect a new effective date of July 1, 2007, and a new Notice of Intent deadline of October 1, 2007. Minor revisions and corrections to the final permit and supporting documents have also been made to the version announced in October 2006. Once submitted, information concerning the NOIs will be made available for public review via this web page and there will be a 30-day period for the public to provide comments or request a public meeting/hearing.

Presentations made at the public meeting in Albuquerque, NM on November 29, 2006, to discuss the new permit are available online: EPA (PDF) (1.86MB - 69pp) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (PDF) (1.49MB - 23pp).

URBANIZED AREAS WITHIN AREAS COVERED BY THE REGION 6 sMS4 PERMITS

The Region 6 sMS4 permits cover areas in New Mexico and Oklahoma. In Oklahoma, coverage is limited to those sMS4s on Indian Country lands - all other would need to apply to the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality for a permit. Under Phase II of the NDPES Storm Water Program, all MS4s in Urbanized Areas (as determined by the Bureau of the Census) were automatically designated as regulated small MS4s. Maps and lists of the cities and counties in Urbanized Areas are available online and are useful in determining whether or not a particular MS4 operator's system is fully or partially within an Urbanized Area. Note that MS4s owned or operated by entities such as special districts, tribes, and state or federal facilities would also need permit coverage if they are located in these Urbanized Areas. NOTE: For New Mexico small MS4s in the El PasoUrbanized Area, look at the list of Texas Urbanized Areas.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN THE NOI PROCESS

Providing Comments or Requesting a Public Hearing on an MS4 Operator’s NOI

Any interested person may provide comments or request a public hearing on a Notice of Intent (NOI) submitted under this general permit. EPA would like to point out that the permit itself has already done through the NPDES notice and comment public participation process required by 40 CFR 124.10 and is not being reopened.

A. How Will I Know A MS4 is Filing an NOI and How Can I Get a Copy?

The permittee is required to provide a local public notice that they are filing an NOI and make a copy of the draft NOI submittal available locally. Basic information from all NOIs received is available online. You may contact the listed MS4 representative for local access to the NOI. You may also request a copy from EPA by contacting Ms. Dorothy Brown at 214-665-8141 or brown.dorothy@epa.gov or via mail at the Address in Item D below, attention Dorothy Brown.

B. When Can I File Comments or a Hearing Request?

You can file comments and/or request a hearing as soon as a NOI is filed, but your request must be postmarked or physically received by EPA within thirty (30) calendar days of the date the NOI is filed.

C. How Do I File Comments or Make My Hearing Request?

Your comments and/or hearing request must be in writing and must state the nature of the issues proposed to be raised in the hearing. You should be as specific as possible and include suggested remedies where possible. You should include any data supporting your position(s). If you are submitting the request on behalf of a group or organization, you should describe the nature and membership of the group or organization. Electronic format comments in MS-WORD, WORDPERFECT, PDF, or TEXT format are preferred.

D. Where Do I Send Copies of My Comments or Hearing Request?

Electronic Format: Submit one copy of your comments or hearing request via e-mail to Ms. Diane Smith at smith.diane@epa.gov and copy the Operator of the MS4 at the address on the NOI (send hard copy to MS4 Operator if no e-mail address provided). You may also submit via compact disk or diskette formatted for PCs to addresses for hard copy below.

Hard Copy: You must send an original and one copy of your comments or hearing request to EPA at the address below and a copy to the Operator of the MS4 at the address provided on the NOI.

U.S. EPA Region 6
Water Quality Protection Division (6WQ-NP)
Attn: Diane Smith
1445 Ross Ave., Suite 1200
Dallas, TX 75202

E. How Will EPA Determine Whether or Not To Hold a Public Hearing?

EPA will evaluate all hearing requests received on an NOI to determine if a significant degree of public interest exists and whether issues raised may warrant clarification of the MS4 Operator’s NOI submittal. EPA will hold a public hearing if a significant amount of public interest is evident. EPA may also, at the Agency’s discretion, hold either a public hearing or an informal public meeting to clarify issues related to the NOI submittal.

EPA may hold a single public hearing or public meeting covering more than one MS4 (e.g., for all MS4s in an Urbanized Area, etc.).

Since the general permit went through the NPDES publication participation process as it was issued, a hearing request will only be granted for issues related to the MS4 Operator’s NOI submittal and not on the permit itself.

F. How Will EPA Announce a Pubic Hearing or Public Meeting?

EPA will provide public notice of the time and place for any public hearing or public meeting in a major newspaper with local distribution and online via the Region 6 sMS4 NOI page.

G. What Will EPA Do With Comments on an NOI?

EPA will take all comments made directly or in the course of a public hearing or public meeting into consideration in determining whether or not the MS4 that submitted the NOI is appropriately covered under the general permit. The MS4 operator will have the opportunity to provide input on issues raised. The Director may require the MS4 operator to supplement or amend the NOI submittal in order to be authorized under the general permit or may direct the MS4 Operator to submit an individual permit application. A summary of issues raised and EPA’s responses will be made available via the Region 6 sMS4 NOI page. A hard copy may also be requested by contacting Ms. Diane Smith (see paragraph D).


Region 6 NPDES Storm Water Home Page

Water Quality Protection Division

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